School Zoning (3)


The Hon. A. Koutsantonis: Let them eat cake!

The SPEAKER: The member for West Torrens is warned.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: I didn't ask for a financial impact statement when the zone in the sanctuary area, in the member for Playford's area, was rezoned either, which he was grateful for. The fact is that the responsibility of the Minister for Education—one that I take very seriously—and of the government is to ensure that every child in every classroom in every school is supported to fulfil that potential and—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order, members on my left and right! The Minister for Education has the call.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Morphett is called to order. He's been doing it all day.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: Every child who lives in any suburb that is in the Underdale High School zone, or the Plympton school zone, or the Springbank school zone—or any other school zone in South Australia—is of concern to us. We want to ensure that our public education system is delivering on their needs, ensuring that they have the opportunity—

The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for West Torrens.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —if they were zoned in an area, to be able to attend a school, because it's not actually an answer for the Labor Party to say, 'Just don't change the zone,' if that means that that zone is going to give entitlement to hundreds more children to be in a school than the school is capable of delivering the curriculum in effectively. We need to ensure that our schools have the infrastructure to support the students who are attending those schools.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: That would not have been capable under the settings left to us by those opposite without further capital build already. Now, yes, we do actually admit that there is an impact of the year 7s coming in, in addition to the growing capacity pressure, and there is a reason why we are moving year 7s into high school. It is to ensure that we can best meet the needs of every child in every school in South Australia, to ensure that the Australian Curriculum is delivered in the way in which it is written.

South Australia's public students this year become the only cohort of students in the nation that has year 7s still in that generalist primary learning environment—the 20th century schooling model that those opposite remain the last people in Australia to still be supporting.

Ms Stinson interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Badcoe!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: The key thing is that, with those opposite, if the purpose of the question is to say that year 7s should not have been moved into high school, then that is a simplistic approach because it does not take into account that we need to be giving every child the support they need.

The other point I make is that the families who have been discomfited because they had certain expectations about the school they are getting have the guarantee that we will give them a spot in a government school where we will be focused on ensuring that that school is the best it can be and is delivering an excellent education to their children, as our commitment is to the students who are already attending those schools. The member for Badcoe should know this. She sponsors a Jayne Stinson award at the Plympton International College, so she should be supporting her schools.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order, members on my right! The minister has the call.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: I just make the point—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —that it is a critical message that we all give all of our families: that the support they will get in whichever of our public schools they are attending will be outstanding support, and I encourage those opposite to talk about the outstanding work that's being done in those schools. The other thing that the education department—

Ms Stinson: We do. We go to the schools and we support them.

The SPEAKER: Order!

Ms Stinson: You're ripping money off them.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Badcoe is still interjecting.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: A two-tier system is not acceptable. It is critical that we ensure that every one of those schools is a school that is desirable, a school that our members of parliament can be proud to encourage their constituents to attend. And, where there is work to do—

The Hon. Z.L. Bettison interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Ramsay!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —we will do that work. We are putting extra money in these schools. There are substantial extra resources going into them. Further, every person, every child in South Australia—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —is not only—

Mr Boyer interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order, member for Wright!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —given the opportunity to attend their local zoned school—

Ms Stinson interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Badcoe!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —but they also have the opportunity to approach any of our public schools—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —that have the capacity to take them, and there are a range of excellent public schools. Many of them have specialty programs, including Adelaide High and Adelaide Botanic High, where every student in South Australia has the opportunity to apply for those schools, too. I have confidence in our system and we are doing the work that is necessary to ensure that confidence can be continued in all our schools in the years ahead.

The SPEAKER: Before I call the deputy leader, the following members I have to deal with: the member for Ramsay is called to order, as is the Premier, the member for Morphett and the member for Colton. The member for Hammond is called to order and warned. The member for Playford is called to order, as is the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Environment and Water, the Minister for Police and the Minister for Child Protection. And I warn for a first time the members for Badcoe and Mawson. Deputy leader.